PEOPLE 263 – MODERN LIFE (MONO)

 

 

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Modern Life, in a time-poor, Western society that is dependent upon – and indeed, craves – ever more complex technology, while being overrun with images, information, statistics, stress, competitiveness and data, lots and lots of data.

And do I make this post as a Totally Innocent Soul, one untainted by and unassociated with all this burgeoning modernity?  Well, hardly, as here I am adding yet another image to the ever swirling, ever churning, global mix, while having spent much of my life creating and analysing vast amounts of statistics, data and information. 

OK, my “career” (I use that word cautiously) kept the wolf from the door but, increasingly, I think maybe that’s something said in defence of many things that are not, ultimately, in the best interests of either ourselves, our wildlife or our planet.  Maybe we are all helping create a wolf that, one day, will be totally out of control and unstoppable.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the larger image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, including the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the High Contrast Red Filter preset; St Augustine’s Parade, central Bristol; 21 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 103 – FLIGHTS OF STEPS

 

 


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Looking down flights of steps with yellow edges.

Originally taken in portrait format, the image has been rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.  The last two steps of a flight with their yellow, high-visibility safety edges are seen on the right, and there is a small landing, floored with handsome granite slabs, in the centre of the picture.  A second flight of steps descends between dark walls on the left but, because of the angle of the shot, all of the yellow edges of these steps meld together to form one yellow mass.  Another landing is dimly seen between the walls’ shadow at extreme left.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the larger version to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 85mm (equiv); 400 ISO; image rotation;  Lightroom, applying the Astia/Soft film simulation; York Place, Clifton, Bristol; 21 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 100 – KING WILLIAM AVENUE

 

 


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Traffic sign and early sunlight.

There is another picture of this wall here.

Click onto this image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click upon this enlarged image to enlarge it further.

X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 250mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom, including the Astia/Soft film simulation; King William Avenue, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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PEOPLE 262 – WOMAN WITH BLUE NAILS

 

 


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As so often happens, a grab shot – time for only one, very quick shot –  as passing traffic momentarily slowed down.  Luckily I had the camera set to spot metering linked to the active autofocus point, something I’m using quite a lot at the moment.  And the telephoto zoom was fully extended.  I just raised the camera to my eye, it found focus on her hand almost instantaneously, and I fired.

What do I think about this image?  Well, a passing soul, a passing someone, a stranger to me as I am to her, someone going somewhere.  But now, I suppose, part of a design, resting her fingers upon – or is she helping support?! – a curving metallic blueness set in a photographically enhanced darkness.  And if I could produce more such images, of beings in artificial, abstract realities, I would.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto this enlarged image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, including the Classic Chrome film simulation; Park Street, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 99 – PARKED CAR REFLECTING ARCHITECTURE AND BLUE SKY

 

 

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Reflections in the bodywork of a parked car.  The blue sky can be seen left of centre, with distorted reflections of buildings around it.  The other reflections are from the car itself.

Technique: a first for this blog, in that although Lightroom has been used afterwards for final processing, this image was initially generated by the X-T2’s Raw Conversion facility.  In-camera, this facility allows Raw files to be edited in various ways – Push/Pull Processing, Film Simulation, Dynamic Range, Grain Effect, White Balance, Cropping, etc, etc – and then to be saved as jpegs while leaving the original Raw files intact.  In this case, the Raw file was given the look of Fuji’s Velvia film simulation, which (as users of Velvia film may remember), boosts colours and contrast.  Sitting down with the camera after a photo session, I find this a useful and creative way of looking through what the session has captured, as well as experimenting with the images to see what looks and crops may be eyecatching – and then saving those that appear useful.

I have a sneaking feeling that some photographic purists might consider this cheating, because I’m letting the camera do some of the processing work for me whereas I ought to be handling the whole of the processing myself in eg Lightroom.  Well, two thoughts about that.  First, I have always said – and it has always been a very core part of my photographic thinking – that all that matters in photography is the final image, irrespective of the way(s) in which it has been generated.  And second, if I generate something like this image, am I really going to expend lots of time and energy seeking to replicate it with Lightroom, when I already have something useable to hand?

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; jpeg with the Velvia film simulation generated from a Raw file in-camera; Lightroom; King Street, central Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.

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STILL LIFE 98 – TWO CARS

 

 


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Cars parked next to each other; view through the windows of one car to the car behind.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the larger image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 205mm (equiv); 400 ISO; Lightroom, including adding Fuji’s Velvia colour profile; thin black border added in Color Efex Pro 4; outside Harts Bakery, Bristol; 7 Apr 2017.
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STILL LIFE 95 – BICYCLE AND PAVEMENT (MONO)

 

 


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Victoria Street, central Bristol: pushbike, pavement (aka sidewalk!); textures, shapes and many shadows.

It was towards the end of a long morning’s photography, and I was walking back towards Harts BakeryLOL! I was being irresistibly dragged there by my love of good food, might be more accurate!!!  Isn’t a total lack of willpower sometimes just wonderful?!  Or perhaps I should omit sometimes?

And, walking back along Victoria Street, it was just before I photographed these men waiting for a bus.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the enlarged image to enlarge it again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 200 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Pinhole preset and adding a tone; 24 Feb 2017.
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PEOPLE 261 – GOING TO WORK 21

 

 


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Woman driver, an anonymous someone in the morning rush hour – a picture to look deeply into, almost abstract, a traveller cocooned in a cacophony of reflection.

Again a grab shot, the traffic surged forward, momentarily paused, and there was just time for a single, frantic shot before the great metal torrent streamed off again on its way into the city.

This is a restricted crop from the very centre of the image, but the X-T2’s 24 megapixels in the less than full-frame sized APS-C sensor certainly helps when using such small parts of the capture.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20.  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click on the enlarged image once more to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujifilm lens at 276mm (equiv); 12,800 ISO; Lightroom; Temple Gate, Bristol; 24 Feb 2017.

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ARCHIVE 284 – TREE MEETS MAN

 

 


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An Oak meets me in the autumn garden; 18 Nov 2013.

I’m freely mobile but the tree is not – and I can speak but, as far as I know, the tree cannot – and therefore I must be the one doing the meeting and greeting?  

How did Gershwin put it? … ” It ain’t necessarily so … it ain’t necessarily so …”.

D800 with 15mm Sigma fisheye lens; 800 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

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PEOPLE 260 – GOING TO WORK 20 (MONO)

 

 


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Morning rush hour, Bristol Bridge; 2 Dec 2016.

Standing on Bristol Bridge, just about at sunrise but with the sun obscured by heavy, going-to-work, overcast.  Pointing my damned great Nikon into the flow of souls heading for the city centre and, once more, I’m on someone’s radar.  Perhaps I’ll get a dayglow safety jacket – I’ll be even more conspicuous then, but at least everyone will think I’m there in some official incapacity.

Technique: a small crop from a full-frame image, with the D700 working near the top of its sensitivity range – only one more stop of ISO above this.  And so to blur, grain and noise, and with SEP2 probably introducing yet more grain, but that’s fine with me – suits the subject, suits the time of day, suits the mood permeating this daily, mass migration of souls.  The D700 is a wonderful camera, ergonomically a joy to use and with fast, accurate autofocus,  a camera I’ve always wanted with me in any tight or difficult photographic situation.  But there’s no getting away from the facts that it is now around nine years old, and that digital camera sensor design has moved on considerably since those days – something to talk more about  another time.

Earlier images from this series can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19.  Each will open in a separate window.

Click onto the image to open an enlarged version in a separate window, and click upon the enlarged image to enlarge it yet more >>> if you really want to get a good look at all this grain!

Technique: D700 with  70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Yellowed 1 preset.
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